“Music brought people together, at the time of The Troubles that was one of the quite striking things.”

I’m talking to playwright Mial Pagan, 61, about his memories of the conflict in Northern Ireland that persisted through the last decades of the 20th century.

He left his home in Belfast in 1977 at the age of 21, eventually settling in St Albans around 20 years ago. His memories of that time have inspired his new play, Dancehall Sweethearts.

It will be performed by the Company of Ten, a St Albans theatre group, at the Abbey Theatre this weekend before going to the Camden Fringe next month.

“It’s about one guy’s love of music and how he gets embroiled in the troubles and that destroys his ability to hear music and appreciate it,” Mial explains.

“Eventually there is redemption, I don’t want to give too much away, but that also comes through music in the end. It is quite hard hitting, but there’s humanity at the heart of the play that really come out.”

Mial’s memories of The Troubles have helped the cast of Dancehall Sweethearts to really get a feel of the production and the story he is trying to tell.

He has been working closely with the director, Jo Emery, throughout the rehearsal process.

Mial is also the author of the Dermot O’Hara detective series and Eat More Bloody Meat, a satire set in the world of advertising. After the production is finished he will begin working on a detective series set in St Albans.

It is a fitting move from the setting being his childhood home to St Albans, having now lived in both places for the same amount of time.

Abbey Theatre, Westminster Lodge, Holywell Hill, St Albans, AL1 2DL, Saturday, July 22, 8pm and Sunday, July 23, 2pm. Details: 01727 857861